Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 3, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

10:00 am
but with chantix i did it. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions with chantix. serious side effects may include seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking or allergic and skin reactions which can be life-threatening. stop chantix and get help right away if you have any of these. tell your healthcare provider if you've had depression or other mental health problems. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. the most common side effect is nausea. i'm so proud to be a non-smoker. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. many insurance plans cover chantix for a low or $0 copay.
10:01 am
good day, every1.
10:02 am
i'm alex witt. here's what's happening right now. trump tweets and trouble. the president firing off a sunday morning barrage of them. but that flynn firing one yesterday raising more questions today. >> the white house is saying that it was really the lawyer who typed that tweet. if that's the lawyer that's typing the tweet, that lawyer should be fired. >> that lawyer has an explanation, but who's buying it? >> and what's the fallout from michael flynn's guilty plea and cooperation with robert mueller? investigators on capitol hill suspect bigger catches are coming up. >> i would assume, i do not believe that general flynn was a rogue agent. >> he sets out that he wasn't acting as a rogue agent. he was acting with the knowledge and at the direction of people who were senior members of the transition team. >> new details and reaction this hour. we're going to go to nbc news white house correspondent geoff bennett. we're hearing more on the president's tweets, specifically
10:03 am
the ones concerning the fbi and michael flynn. what can you tell us? >> good afternoon, alex. it appears the president is continuing his long-running attack against the government's investigative agencies, trying to sow doubts into the minds of americans about the overall merits of the russia investigation. so here's what he posted on twitter earlier today. he writes, after years of comey with the phony and dishonest clinton investigation and more, running the fbi, its reputation is in tatters. worst in history. but fear not. we will bring it back to greatness. now, that prompted a strong rebuke also on twitter from eric holder, the long-serving former attorney general in the obama administration. holder wrote this. nope, not letting this go. the fbi's reputation is not in tatters. it's composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great apolitical job. you'll find integrity and honestly at fbi headquarters and not at 1600 pennsylvania avenue right now. so fighting words to be sure.
10:04 am
meanwhile, in addition to the mueller probe, on the other side of pennsylvania avenue, you've got three ongoing congressional investigations, all looking into this overall russia investigation. senator dianne feinstein, who's the democrat from california who was also the top democrat on the senate judiciary committee was on "meet the press" this morning and she says she sees the threads of an obstruction of justice case coming together and that michael flynn, who you of course know, pled guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with the russians, well, she says flynn was not operating as a rogue agent, that he was in fact taking direction from someone higher up in the trump food chain. take a look. >> i do not believe that general flynn was a rogue agent. i think he had to have been directed. now, whether the special counsel can find that evidence or not, whether we can, i don't know yet. but i see that that's where this is going. >> so all of this sours what should be a celebratory weekend here at the white house,
10:05 am
celebrating the senate passing that gop tax plan, having it scrape through the senate early saturday morning. instead, all the attention is focused on mike flynn. flynn, by the way, who is now the fourth campaign official implicated in criminal activity, alex. >> joining me now, erin mcpike, senior adviser for media group of america, and betsy woodruff, politics reporter for the daily beast. with a thank you to geoff bennett. all right, guys, i want to get your raengz to eric holder's response to the president, saying no, the fbi is not in tatters. it's made up and compromised of the same excellent people doing their job all along, and apolitically, i might add. erin, you first to that. >> well, look, i think you're seeing people like eric holder and others and comey, a number of people trying to defend the fbi here, because the president has been making comments like this throughout his presidency, throughout the year, and so of course, these former officials have to go and defend the honor of the people who worked for them. >> okay. betsy, why do you think eric
10:06 am
holder felt the need to respond? >> you know, as former attorney general, eric holder was responsible for the fbi for years during the obama administration. the curious thing about the president's tweet about the fbi's reputation is that to the extent that the fbi's public reputation is in tatter, to the extent there's a decrease in public trust in that institution, a lot of that is due to the fact that the president himself has been working overtime to try to damage its reputation. so it's interesting that trump is now saying, oh, the fbi is dealing with some reputational harm, when he's actually been responsible for doing so much of the damage there. at one point here that's kind of interesting as a piece of context is christopher wray, who trump made fbi director several months ago, is part of the quote/unquote deep state, to use a term uses to refer to federal law enforcement. my understanding is wray has long-standing friendly relationships with bob mueller and james comey because the federal law enforcement community, the space of lawyers
10:07 am
who work on these matters is very friendly. i'm confident the person who trump made fbi director would probably disagree vehemently with the president's characterization of the fbi. >> erin, do you think there's a strategy behind all of these tweets? is it distraction, is it base playing? what do you think it is? >> well, alex, i think we know from the past year, two years really, that he's always playing to his base. when he makes those tweets. but look, some of the things that the president has been saying, even in the last day, when he said yesterday about why he fired mike flynn for lying not just to vice president mike pence but also to the fbi, i mean, who knows what strategy there is after all. we're now seeing that a lawyer is trying to say he wrote that tweet versus the president. and it just shows that the president should not be tweeting, especially when it comes to any of the investigations concerning russia. >> okay, do you think he's also trying to just raise doubt in some of these institutions,
10:08 am
erin? is that what he's trying to do? >> i think president trump has been raising doubt in every institution that he deals with and has been dealing with since he started running for president. he's always trying to break down institutions so that he can be more powerful than all of them. >> hmm. okay, i want to play part of an interview with senator dianne feinstein, of course, the ranking member on the senate judiciary committee talking about the president and the russian probe. here it is. >> i think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice. i think we see this in the indictments, the four indictments and pleas that have just taken place and some of the comments that are being made. i see it in the hyperfrenetic attitude of the white house, the comments every day, the continual tweets. and i see it most importantly in
10:09 am
what happened with the firing of director comey and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the russia investigation. >> do you, betsy, think the case against the president of obstructing justice is becoming more substantive now? what are you hearing on that front? >> the fact that the president tweeted that he knew mike flynn lied to the fbi was christmas come early for mueller's team and for anyone trying to make the argument that the president intended to hinder a federal investigation into flynn. that said, the law around obstruction of justice is pretty complex. you could have -- i have had lengthy conversations with a host of white collar criminal defense attorneys who deal with these matters. serious, credible people, and depending on who you call, you get entirely different explanations of the way the evidence might work, of whether
10:10 am
or not from a constitutional perspective it's possible for the president to obstruct justice. so i would urge caution when it comes to discussions about the president's legal liability on the obstruction of justice matter. my sense is that if this gets to court, if charges get brought, that the legal side will probably be much more hotly disputed than the factual side. and it's important not to get ahead of our skis on that. that said, without a doubt, the fact that the president tweeted what he did yesterday is making life a lot more stressful for his lawyers, a lot more stressful for his advisers, and i imagine, it's a moment of joy for the people woo would like to see the president in legal hot water. >> but erin, what if it ends up that this tweet was written out for the president by his personal attorney, as has been said and suggested? what if it's just sloppiness. if that's the case, that's one thing and maybe doesn't put him in such great legal peril, potentially, but what does it say about how the white house is
10:11 am
being run? >> look, it certainly is sloppy. and who knows who is running the white house, and as we know, john kelly, the chief of staff, says he is not going to be policing the president's tweets, but here's something else i would point out to you on the matter of obstruction of justice. there were a number of republican senators who spoke to "the new york times" at the end of last week in a story that made the obstruction of justice case worse for the president, but they tried to inoculate him from that. these republican senators, saying that they didn't feel pressured to shut down the senate intelligence committee's investigation into the russian meddling, even though the case was made, some of what president trump said to the senators would suggest that he was trying to pressure them. but the republican senators made the case that the president really just didn't know what he was talking about because he hasn't been around government that long. so what you're seeing is that there is a breakdown along party lines in the belief that the president did obstruct justice right now. >> okay, there's a new book, ladies, that is debuting from
10:12 am
two trump campaign insiders, recounts, among other gems that hope hicks steamed the wrinkles from the candidate's suit while he was wearing it. to both of you, "the washington post" are the u.ones who got th sneak peek, but what do you find most fascinating in the quick snapshots. erin, you first. >> you mentioned at the top of the hour, the calorie count of the president's favorite meal. >> we'll get to that. >> we had read obviously a lot during the campaign that the president really liked to have mcdonald's brought in to his campaign plane when he was traveling around. if anything, i think some of these stories are just funny. one of the big ones is that the president dressed down some of his aides during the campaign. we have seen that. there have been pictures from photographers of the president dressing down his aides in the oval office that he does get into these fits of anger pretty regularly. >> we're going to bring you a breakdown of the calorie count. it might make some of your stomachs turn when you look at
10:13 am
it. what's the big nugget you take away, betsy? >> what stood out to me and what's important for context here is that the authors of this new book certainly have an agenda. corey lewandowski, one of the authors, it's well known he despises paul manafort, trump's former campaign head, who was recently indicted. there's some descriptions of conversations in this book between president trump and manafort that make manafort look really, really bad. for people seeing headlines about that, i would urge people not necessarily to take everything in this book at face value. corey lewandowski, my understand, is not always a reliable narrator, so there's an agenda being pushed through this book. the said, of course, a lot of these details are extraordinary, and i can say just from conversations with my own sources that fast food was very much an important part of trump's campaign. it paints a really interesting, entertaining picture, but these books always have agendas. >> always good to talk to both of you. >> we have new reaction from
10:14 am
jared kushner on the impact of news reports. this is the mueller investigation reaches into the white house, and just two days since mike flynn's guilty plea. here's what kushner said just a few moments ago at a forum on u.s./israeli relations. >> i don't let it bother me. there are people who are good at dealing with the media. my focus is on the objectives and we'll stay focused on the different missions. you know, we're here to serve the country. we'll keep going. and you know, what i am confident in is that when our service is done, we'll look back and we won't say, there was a bad story on this, there was a bad story on that. we'll look back and say did we spend every minute we could to push as hard as we can on the issues we care about to make as big of an impact as possible. >> kushner, who according to the mike flynn court documents was named as a senior level official who directed mike flynn to make contact with russia. kushner made no mention of the national security advier or any aspect of the russia investigation. >> next, ted lieu on the mueller probe and the republican tax plan.
10:15 am
more people shop online for the holidays than ever before. and the united states postal service delivers more of those purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. because we know, even the smallest things are sometimes the biggest.
10:16 am
even the smallest things us. it's what this country is made of. but right now, our bond is fraying. how do we get back to "us"? the y fills the gaps. and bridges our divides. donate to your local y today. because where there's a y, there's an us.
10:17 am
firstthen you put yourselfareer. through school. got the degree. you've given it your all, to reach the goals you've set. don't let student debt hold you back. refinancing student loans with sofi can save thousands. so you can get where you've always been headed... sooner. see how much you can save with sofi. the leader in student loan refinancing.
10:18 am
the fact that he wasn't upset with flynn or the fact he waited so long to fire him in the first place and what he was really upset was the press exposing the lie would suggest, i think, that the president was knowing of exactly what flynn did and the question i think for bob mueller and for us in congress is, was this directed by the president? >> and that, of course, intel committee ranking member adam schiff on trump's apparent support for mike flynn in the
10:19 am
wake of his guilty plea in the russia investigation. it came on the heels of the president's tweet storm, including this tweet. general flynn lies to the fbi and his life is destroyed while crooked hillary clinton on that now famous hib holiday interrogation with no swearing in and no recording lies many times and nothing happens to her? rigged system or just a double standard? joining me now, democratic congressman ted lieu, member of the house judiciary committee. always good to see you. right off the bat, does this feel different to you than when paul manafort was indicted or george papadopoulos pled guilty? >> absolutely. and thank you for that question, alex. i'm a former prosecutor. and you wouldn't do a plea agreement with someone as big as michael flynn in order to get information on lower level individuals. you do that plea agreement because michael flynn has damning information on people above him. there's only a handful of people, jared kushner, mike pence, jeff sessions, donald trump jr., or the president of the united states.
10:20 am
>> do you have any sense as to whether mike flynn has given robert mueller's team all of the information they need to know or is that something that would come later, given your experience in situations like this in prosecution? >> michael flynn's lawyer would have made a proffer of what michael flynn would say. and special counsel mueller knows what that is. that's why he agreed to this very light charge of just one count. and he's also sending a signal to others. he gave a very light one-count charge to george papadopoulos because he's also cooperating with the special counsel, but when paul manafort said he's not going to, robert mueller threw the book at him. he's sending a strong signal that you better cooperate or you're going to go to prison for a long time. >> you're making a good point because papadopoulos, it very quietly happened with him. with manafort, he was dragged out of his house early in the morning in the wee hours. that was a public reckoning. what about your reaction to
10:21 am
trump's personal lawyer, to john dowd, who is back pedaling on what he meant when trump fired flynn for lying to the fbi. you tweeted about all this. i was talking about this tweet yesterday from you. it said this is obstruction of justice. potus now admits he knew michael flynn lied to the fbi, yet trump tried to influence or stop the fbi investigation on flynn. so i take it you're not buying this explanation? >> not at all. and if john dowd actually wrote that tweet, he should be fired. it's stunning legal malpractice. but it doesn't really matter because if a lawyer writes something for you and then you say it or you put it out, then you have just owned it. so it doesn't even absolve donald trump of that tweet. more significantly, donald trump has not tried to correct it. he's had numerous occasions now to say he didn't mean it or someone else wrote it. he didn't say that. in fact, he doubled down. he's now attacking the fbi instead of trying to correct his earlier tweet. >> if he did in fact write it, though, john dowd, why would he
10:22 am
potentially put his client in legal jeopardy or is it more to what you said, you know, he should be fired and that would be a level of sloppiness or incompetence doing so? >> because i just don't believe that story at all. i know the white house is very freaked out about donald trump's tweet yesterday. but the president himself has not seeked to distance himself from it. he hasn't said someone else wrote it. he in fact is doubling down on it by attacking the fbi and by suggesting that general flynn's life shouldn't be ruined just because he lied to the fbi. >> how do you think robert mueller is looking at all these tweets from yesterday and today? >> let me first say the president of the united states is in serious trouble. he has now on more than one occasion admitted publicly to their central elements of obstruction of justice. special counsel mueller is also interested in this issue based on the witnesses he's interviewing. they're very interested in why fbi director comey was fired.
10:23 am
and this obstruction statute is very broad. you don't actually have to obstruct justice. you just have to endeavor to influence or impede an investigation. and the president certainly did that. >> i have something else i want to ask you about. this is regarding "the new york times," which as you know obtained the e-mails from k.t. mcfarland, writing to a colleague about the obama sanctions against russia for the election meddling. how crucial is k.t. mcfarland going be in this investigation at this point? has your committee reached out to her? >> i think she is also in trouble, and what's fascinating is you have e-mails that just straight up talk about the kremlin connection, about russia, about the russian government trying to help the trump campaign. you saw another article in "the new york times," i think it was "the new york times," on the nra connection, where a lobbyist also wrote an e-mail titled kremlin connection. so you've got a lot of evidence here where it's very publicly known within the trump campaign
10:24 am
folks that russia is trying to help them and they're coordinating with the russians, and that's collusion. >> so there appears to be two tracks here. you can go down the legal track or you can go down the political track towards impeachment. which one do you think is the president -- should the president be more concerned about? which one do you think gets closer to him right now? >> well, we know that for richard nixon, he was not brought down because of the underlying crimes. he was brought down for obstruction of justice. that was the first article impeachment. the second article was dear likz of duty. we're seeing him commit obstruction of justice in plain view. we should let counsel mueller's special investigation move forward. he's getting closer every day that moves by. it may be an easy decision for the american people in the months to come. >> all right, congressman ted lieu of california, always good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. former "vanity fair" editor
10:25 am
tina brown joins me next to talk about her new book "the vanity fair diaries" and motshe said about president trump being an entertaining con man. that's three decades ago. what's she saying now? directv has been rated number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like wet grocery bags. getting a bad haircut. overcrowded trains. turnstiles that don't turn. and spilling coffee on themselves. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv. and for a limited time get a $100 reward card. call 1-800-directv
10:26 am
when it comes to strong bones, are you on the right path? we have postmenopausal osteoporosis... ..and a high risk for fracture, so with our doctors... ...we chose prolia®... help make our bones stronger. only prolia® helps strengthen bones... stopping cells that damage them... ...with 1 shot every 6 months. do not take prolia® if you have low blood calcium, are pregnant, are allergic to it, or take xgeva®. serious allergic reactions, like low blood pressure; trouble breathing; throat tightness; face, lip or tongue swelling... ...rash, itching or hives have happened. tell your doctor about dental problems, as severe jaw bone... ...problems may happen or new or unusual pain in your hip groin, or thigh, as unusual thigh bone fractures have occurred. peak to your doctor before stopping prolia®, as spine and other bone fractures have occurred. prolia® can cause serious side effects, like low blood calcium; serious infections, which could need hospitalization; problems; and severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.
10:27 am
if your bones aren't getting stronger... ...isn't it time for a new direction? why wait? ask your doctor about prolia®. grandma's. aunt stacy's. what are the reasons you care for your heart? qunol coq10 with 3x better absorption has the #1 cardiologist recommended form of coq10 to support heart health. qunol, the better coq10.
10:28 am
10:29 am
i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. as we approach the half hour, here's what we're monitoring. new reaction to the latest developments in the russia investigation. the president unleashing on twitter against fired fbi director james comey as well as hillary clinton. also providing new reaction to former national security adviser michael flynn's plea deal. in fact, in one tweet, he said i never asked comey to stop investigating flynn. just more fake news covering another comey lie. >> well, this tweet storm led republican senator lindsey graham to give this warning to president trump. >> there's an ongoing criminal investigation. comey may be part of it. you tweeting comment regarding ongoing criminal investigations at your own peril, i would be careful if i were you, mr. president. i would watch this. >> let's bring in michael steel and bill press, who hosts the bill press show on free speech tv, also an opinion contributor for the hill. gentlemen, michael, when it comes to taking james comey or
10:30 am
the president at their word, who do you believe? and then how damaging could the president's tweets about these issues be for him? i have heard it a million times over from attorneys representing clients, be quiet. shut up is what they say. >> yeah. i believe james comey. i think that there is no question that the president is doing himself a disservice with these public attacks. these often somewhat unhinged seeming twitter rants. i don't think it serves his cause very well, and i don't think it serves the country very well. it certainly continues the distraction that is taking away from real substantive accomplishments that his administration and congress are achieving. >> there's this other tweet from the president, bill, which reads in part, i had to fire flynn, general flynn, because he lied to the vice president and then here's the part we want to talk about, and the fbi. so trump's personal lawyer, as you heard, john dowd, telling nbc news he authored that tweet. he was trying to paraphrase a previous statement from ty cobb.
10:31 am
does that explanation clear up the questions that this tweet has raised in terms of timing? >> well, first, let me say, alex, a couple of things here. one, this is -- i think we all know now, you can't call this a witch hunt. you can't call this fake news. and you can't say as the white house keeps saying, this investigation is winding down. i think the chairman just indicated, this is a serious criminal investigation that is -- that has moved from the campaign into the white house. this is very, very serious stuff. as to -- i was stunned by this e-mail from -- this tweet, rather, from the president saying that he fired flynn because he lied to mike pence, but he also lied to the fbi. now, i agree with congressman ted lieu. whether or not john dowd, and if you believe him, wrote that, and handed it to the president, the president doesn't read his tweets before they go out? and if it's true, then the president knew that flynn was
10:32 am
lying to the fbi, so, you know look, there's more evidence of collusion, which is not a crime, but there's also more evidence like this tweet of obstruction of justice, which is a crime. >> so do you take john dowd at his word, michael, when he says he authored that tweet? >> i do. although i would prefer to hear that directly from the president himself. but i think mr. press is right. we have a situation here where the old washington rule is that the cover-up is worse than the crime. in this situation, we don't know whether the cover-up is worse than the crime, fwhut cover-up is bad enough. >> okay. how about the explosive report, and i guess i'll start with you bill, here, from "the new york times" in which it said the trump transition adviser k.t. mcfarland e-mailed a colleague about russia sanctions in september and said if there is a tit for tat esclashz, trump will have difficulty improving relations with russia, which has thrown the usa election to him. they said mcfarland was talking about the perception trump was
10:33 am
fighting back against, by that, he means all the doubts about the election's legitimacy. does that explanation by ty cobb add up to you? >> i don't think any of this adds up. but what does this show? first, that michael flynn was not a rogue agent, as the white house was quick to say when he was indicted. that this is a guy who was following orders, taking direction from the trump transition team down at mar-a-lago. so he was right in the mix. secondly, it shows kt mcfarland makes it very clear, we can't do what obama wants us to do, and we can't be tough on russia. we have to be a little softer on russia because otherwise, the story is going to be how russia tried to taint the election. number three, then she also said, alex, i forget word for exact word, but russia, that just threw the election to us or something to that effect. >> which has just thrown usa election to him. >> which sounds like she's
10:34 am
admitting that russia delivered the election to donald trump. i doubt that's what she meant, but boy, doesn't look good. >> what's your reaction to that, michael? >> this is exactly what i was talking about earlier. it is untoward but probably not illegal for the trump transition or a faction within the trump transition to be running a parallel foreign policy contrary to the sitting president. but lying to the fbi about such an effort definitely is against the law. >> okay. speaking of laws then, what you're saying, it happens. why is the logan law, why is it even on the books if nobody seems to pay attention to it? >> well, there are a lot of laws like that, i think, alex. the logan act, i remember they tried to get jesse jackson with the logan act years ago. i'm sure michael remembers that. it goes back to the early 19th century. never enforced. >> 1799. >> even earlier, and it's not going to be enforced in this case either. i just have to say, i believe, i
10:35 am
always thought that donald trump would end his first term without any problem, bumps along the road, but he was going to make it, and then maybe get re-elected or not. after all this stuff comes out, i'm beginning to really doubt that he makes it to the end of his first term because the food chain is going up as congressman lieu said, and it's going up to donald jr., to jared, and who knows who else. >> michael, i spoke earlier with adrian elrod from the clinton campaign and asked if there was any satisfaction over the flynn business, the russia contacts being exposed. she said it's somewhat satisfying hearing lock him up. do you have any similar sentiments. president trump was pretty tough on your candidate, jeb bush? >> no, because i care about what happens to the american people, and i care about this country being governed in a responsible manner. and i'm sorry to see that the trump administration in some respects is turning out to be just as bad as we predicted. at the same time, i want to make
10:36 am
sure that members in congress, people who are continuing to work on big issues like protecting the country, reforming our tax code, helping get our economy moving again, they continue to make those efforts and we continue to support them. >> all right. >> alex, i just want to add, this is not a cause for glee for anybody. this is really sad and troubling for the entire country. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. good to see you. a new book on the trump campaign reveals candidate trump's love for mcdonald's. we have the calorie count of one of those meals coming up. (matthew) my wish was a clubhouse, but we call it "the wish house". (mom) and it just immediately brought something positive in our life. "oh, i gotta get up get matthew on his treatment." (matthew) it's not that bad, though. (mom) yeah. (matthew) the good thing about the surgeries is i get to have a popsicle at the end. (mom) he makes the best of everything and he teaches us to be strong and brave, too. (vo) through the subaru share the love event, we've helped grant the wishes of fifteen hundred kids so far. get a new subaru and we'll donate two hundred fifty dollars more to help those in need. ♪ put a little love in your heart. ♪
10:37 am
10:38 am
10:39 am
for over 100 years like kraft has,natural cheese you learn a lot about what people want. honey, do we have like a super creamy cheese with taco spice already in it? oh, thanks. bon appe-cheese! okay...
10:40 am
explores life on the campaign trail with candidate donald trump. it's title "let trump be trump." written by corey liewiandowski d david bossie. they write the care and feeding of mr. trump was an important aspect of his march. and they're adding mcdonald's was one of his four favorite food groups. a favorite order includes two big macs, two mcfishes and a chocolate shake. axios did the calorie count. 2,430 calories and something like 111 grams of fat. okay. a new book from tina brown, and it chronicles the excessive in new york and hollywood, and donald trump was a familiar figure at that point. writing, quote, i read and
10:41 am
extracted donald trump's osobig aff auto biography, the art of the deal, it feels when you finish it as if you have been nose to nose if four hours with an entertaining con man, and i suspect the american public would like nothing better. joining me now, tina brown herself, author of the new book "the vanity fairs diaries." and also the woman's world summit. i want you to apply what you said in your book at that time to where we are today with donald trump and his appeal as america americans' president. do they sense what you did in the "the art of the deal" reading that today? >> i absolutely do think they sense that because i felt he was a very appealing man at that time. then, shortly after i extracted the book, i sat next to him at a dinner party for the first time.
10:42 am
and we bounced it back and forth across the dinner table because he was saying to me stuff like, hey, i'm on the cover of "newsweek" what do you think of that? what's better "time" or newsweek." and then he went on to talking about how ivana had just made him go to the opera. three hours, no break. pavarotti, who cares. i said to ivana, never again. that made me laugh. it was kind of real because of the other side of me was just this pretentious decorator, donald trump, such a terrible person. i thought, actually, he's kind of real and authentic and funny. i kind of think that is what america resonated with as he, you know, started a campaign. >> yeah. i don't think you're wrong. another encounter with donald trump with that newsweek cover, of course, but then after that, that exchange stands out to you from him saying he's trying to make "newsweek" be a fantastic
10:43 am
thing as compared to "time." you're kind of egging him on. >> teasing him. >> you're teasing him, but his reaction to that, did he seem like he had thin skin. >> he seemed like he was just determined to make me think whatever he had chosen to do or rather as he put it, he could have had either but he chose "newsweek." actually, that wasn't true. he was offered newsweek. >> like the "time" magazine cover he claims man of the year. >> he's always had this thing about "time" that he wasn't on the cover. it didn't matter because he invented his own reality then and now. as time went by, though, in the diaries i find him less amusing, at the diaries will show other entries where he became extremely belligerent, extremely difficult. we were on a very sort of controversial piece about him, which talked about he actually had hitler's speeches on the desk, he went ballistic and it wasn't so good after that.
10:44 am
>> one more passage i have to bring up that he said to you, you know how much fawn hall gets for a one-night appearance, $25,000. i booked it for a night at trump tower. she can't sing, she can't dance, so what? she's so hot, everyone is going to come. >> yeah, that's right. >> what does that -- what does that say to you about him then and now? do you think with the current climate that takes on somewhat different meaning? >> it says he's a great promoter. it says he really didn't care what was true and what wasn't but he was going to make something, you know, hot. that's what promoters do. and he was always very, very, very good at that. no question about it. and i think that actually what we all underestimated a lot, actually, when trump won, was the appeal of the man who was the star of "the apprentice." i think people looked at this star of "the apprentice" and saw him on the stump as that man. they thought, here is a superrich tycoon, effective businessman, knows how to hire
10:45 am
and fire. knows how to get things done. gold towers. gorgeous model wives. great looking family that looks like something out of the kardashian catalog or something, and that's what a lot of people want to be. it's not complicated. a lot of people want to sit by the pool in sunglasses. a lot of people want to get in a private plane. i think trump very simply spoke to an america that people sort of wanted to be in and kind of missed. hard to understand what silicon valley people do. you know, it's like, i have no idea really what they do all day long. it's one of those -- but trump, real estate and building and cars and all the rest, it's a very iconic image of american success. >> yeah. speaking of success, i look at all the names of the people that you have encountered over the years. i think it's actually probably a lot easier to say whom you did not encounter really because the chronicle is extraordinary. and there is another one, harvey weinstein, with whom you launched the talk magazine. something that you said you regretted going into business
10:46 am
with him way before the current scandal in which he's embroiled, but you said you didn't know what was happening. there were the whisper campaigns, something that an open secret to the way he was behaving towards women. have you ever asked yourself, gosh, how did i miss that? you don't miss much. >> not really, because as we have seen, he was employing agents to shut these girls down. these girls weren't running around town saying what had happened to them. what i saw was a guy who clearly had a bit of a sleazy personal life. had lots of girls around him and so on. i never encountered that. he just was like another typical, it seemed, hollywood sleazebag, to be quite honest. not what we now know, which is that he seems as if it has been allegedly raping women, which was a completely whole other -- >> and he never made any harassment toward you? >> no, not at all. he didn't. largely because i was a kind of media journalism figure, and that always scared him. he didn't want to have anything to do with someone who had
10:47 am
connections to media. that would have scared him. >> did you ever have concerns while at "vanity fair," in the book, you talked about in your role as editor, if you had to come across folks there was a level of harassment and you had to deal with it. >> i found something different, i was a boss lady from a young age. i was 25 when i first had my first magazine in london. so i was actually always in a position in a way where i was the one who was kind of creating the world around me. so i didn't have to deal with people over me, because i regard harassment as when you are in a position of lesser power, and someone is making you feel that a sexual transaction will enhance your position in the world, and you don't want to do that. that's to me the definition of harassment. i didn't have to confront that because i was the boss. i think what i did confront a lot of was feeling that kind of always being kind of ill considered in many ways in realms business, lesser considered.
10:48 am
women, we're continually at that time, particularly, excluded from important conversations very often that they wanted to be a part of. i did incredibly well at conde nast, but i was paid less than one of the male editors there, and i had to engage someone to make that change because i felt i needed somebody to bat for me, to go in and say i wasn't paid enough. that was an issue for me. also at times, just that you got -- the women were just not treated as the same kind of power in business that the men in the company were. and you know, it was very interesting when i saw footage recently of my presenting the magazine at the company, i noted it's something i didn't notice at the time, it was me and like eight men around the management board. and you know, i looked at it and thought, my god, at the time, it was the sea in which i swam. it was not something you questioned. today, i would question that. >> so i'm thinking about this book and certainly i read about you for years prior to getting to know you. and learning a lot about you that way, but is there something
10:49 am
about the catalyst would have been for anybody to read this book, something you want them to know about you? because it's a very personal look. >> i think what i really want particularly young women to feel is the kind of excitement of a career and what it takes to make a success. i think sometimes people feel that success is like, oh, you know, she came in. she waved a wand. so-and-so became a hit doing this. actually, what i wanted to show is the day-by-day negotiations to make yourself into a person who can have a success. it takes managing. it takes learning how to hire. it takes building teams. it takes, you know, tremendous amount of sacrifice of your time and work to make something go. and i think i really want young women who read this to read it and understand what it really takes to become a woman who is running something. >> we certainly see that in the pages of the book. also the photos itself. we see you practically in your night gown reading and studying in bed all the time.
10:50 am
so it's -- >> wasn't much down time. >> that's it. incredibly entertaining. thank you so much, tina brown. best of luck with the book. >> thank you so much. >> "the vanity fair diaries." and the increasing threat of war. that story is in our next hour. by victories. by those with the resourcefulness, the ingenuity, and the grit to help ensure the next energy to power our dreams, will be american energy.
10:51 am
10:52 am
10:53 am
10:54 am
he was considered one of the greatest intelligence officers of his generation, but now he's pleading guilty to lying to the fbi. headliners michael flynn explores the man whose ghost haunts the white house nearly a year after he was fired. he's a quick look. >> president trump's former national security adviser michael flynn has just pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to the fbi. >> michael flynn and one-time donald trump's most loyal foreign policy adviser now pledging full cooperation as the president's antagonist to special counsel robert mueller. >> he has information about president trump, he has information about the former campaign manager, paul manafort, maybe jared kushner. >> you didn't learn from any of the briefings -- >> those issues did not come up and that's the extent of what i
10:55 am
can talk about. >> this is the first time that this investigation has gone into the white house. >> from insurgent battlefield to political mindfield, the complicated journey of michael flynn. >> watch msnbc tonight at 9:00 for the fascinating look at the man behind this growing international scandal. and the president's morning tweet storm and what may have prompted it. that's coming your way next hour. more people shop online for the holidays than ever before. (clapping) and the united states postal service delivers more of those purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. ( ♪ ) because we know, even the smallest things are sometimes the biggest. only fleet enemas feature the lubricated gentle glide tip for comfortable relief in minutes. not hours.
10:56 am
and an ez-squeeze bottle for gentle, simple, fast relief. fleet enemas. the start of fast relief. it's an emotional connection i focus on techniques because it's really the techniques that are the most important part of any recipe. salt enhances, acid enhances, pepper, changes flavor. pan roasting is a technique to give you almost pudding like, zucchini. every technique that i'm sharing with you is something that will last you a lifetime.
10:57 am
i'm thomas keller and this is my masterclass. thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff. what's it mean for shipping? ship the goods. you're a go! you got the green light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open.
10:58 am
10:59 am
11:00 am


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on